Africa-Press – South-Africa. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
With these words, DA leader John Steenhuisen announced that incumbent Alan Winde will be the party’s candidate for Western Cape premier in next year’s elections. Winde has been premier for more than four years after the DA’s landslide victory in the 2019 elections.
Both men regard the Western Cape, which they have governed since 2009, as a key battleground to increase their vote share. The aim is not only to get more votes in the province – traditionally a source of much of its overall support – but to also hold it up as an example of what the party believes it can replicate in other provinces and the national sphere.
Steenhuisen and Winde said that the Western Cape’s unemployment and murder rates had dropped.
They attributed the decreasing murder rate to the provincial government’s partnership with the City of Cape Town in the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) programme.
According to Steenhuisen, the province’s people gave them a majority.
“That is the difference,” he said.
Winde, too, stressed the importance of maintaining the party’s outright majority in the Western Cape.
“This province has shown South Africa that we can have hope in our beautiful land,” he said.
Steenhuisen, however, warned that victory was anything but certain.
He said some opposition parties were working to reduce the DA’s majority in the Western Cape rather than campaigning against the ANC.
Referring to the Patriotic Alliance, he said: “‘n Ander party is kop in een mus met the ANC. Hy dra ‘n highlighter-groen hempie, maar onder is die ANC! (Another party is in cahoots with the ANC. They wear a highlighter green shirt, but underneath is the ANC!)
“Don’t trust them; they are not to be trusted.
“Beware these small parties, people of the Western Cape,” Steenhuisen said. “Make sure we give Alan Winde and the DA a bigger majority.”
Recently, the DA formed the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa with the IFP, ActionSA, FF Plus, Isanco, UIM, and Spectrum National Party. The aim is to establish a coalition government following next year’s elections.
This “moonshot pact” would most likely need the support of another party to push it beyond 50% to form a national government, and ActionSA has mooted the PA joining the pact.
Steenhuisen said the PA does not meet the values and principles of the charter.
“It is very clear that you have to have a commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution. You’ve got to be anti-corruption. You’ve got to govern cleanly and accountably. You’ve got to ensure that you are non-racial, and you can’t be in a relationship with the ANC and the EFF,” Steenhuisen said.
He referred to PA leader Gayton MacKenzie indicating that he would support ANC/EFF-backed Johannesburg mayor, Al Jama-ah’s Kabelo Gwamanda, in an upcoming motion of no confidence and the PA’s recent actions in Nelson Mandela Bay, saying these actions showed that they are aligned with the ANC and EFF.
Steenhuisen said the charter was based on trust. While he trusted the partners in this pact, he couldn’t “say the same about the PA”.
The DA is early out of the blocks in announcing its candidate for premier.
A date for next year’s elections has not been set, but it will be between May and August and quite likely the latter part of that period due to the IEC having to prepare for the independent candidates participating for the first time.
Ahead of the 2019 elections, the DA postponed the announcement of its candidate in September 2018. It later emerged that the then-party leader, Mmusi Maimane, considered being the candidate himself after the selection process was concluded. Winde, Bonginkosi Madikizela and David Maynier were understood to be the favourites.
In the end, Maimane reconsidered, and Winde was announced Western Cape premier candidate a few days later.
Steenhuisen said they want people to know that Winde would continue in office.
In the 2019 campaign, the devolution of police and rail services formed a key tenet of Winde’s manifesto. While this faced staunch opposition from the ANC national government during his first term, it remains on the agenda for a second term.
“I would have already liked to have policing powers devolved to us, and I would have really liked Prasa and trains devolved to us. That fight will continue,” Winde told News24 shortly after his candidature was announced.
“But I think what we have shown, whether we got it or not, the difference in our policing model; that if you use data and evidence, you can drop the murder rate in our high crime areas.”
He said it showed that their policies, when implemented, worked.
“And surely, that is what the electorate also takes note of,” said Steenhuisen.